Everyone’s favorite event of the year is back! The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) is excited to announce the 2023 Lionfish Challenge, sponsored by Zookeeper. As a Florida-based lionfish hunting gear and apparel outfitter, the Zookeeper team is aware of the negative impacts lionfish have caused and want to support the organizations and divers working to fight the lionfish invasion. This year’s tournament shirt was custom-designed and printed by Zookeeper and will be awarded to participants who reach the first prize tier.

The Lionfish Challenge is a free summer-long lionfish tournament open to recreational and commercial competitors of all ages around the state of Florida. There’ been an astounding number of lionfish removed as part of this challenge – more than 165,000. As we kick off the eighth year of the Lionfish Challenge, our goal remains the same: remove as many lionfish as we can in just four months. Are you up for the Challenge?

Tournament details:

Timeline: June 1 to Oct. 1.

Categories: Participants will compete in either the commercial or the recreational division with grand prizes to the top competitors in each division.

Military prize: We will be awarding an additional grand prize to the top Active Military/Veteran competitor. The FWC is honored to offer this new prize category for the 2023 Lionfish Challenge.

Prizes will be awarded in tiers as follows:

  • Tier 1- Harvest 25 lionfish (recreational category) or 50 pounds of lionfish (commercial category).
  • Tier 2- Harvest 75 lionfish (recreational category) or 250 pounds of lionfish (commercial category).
  • Tier 3- Harvest 250 lionfish (recreational category) or 500 pounds of lionfish (commercial category).
  • Tier 4- Harvest 500 lionfish (recreational category) or 1,000 pounds of lionfish (commercial category).

Here’s the link for more info and to sign up.

For more on local fishing, check out Reel Talk

  • To read the full tournament rules and register

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